Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Feel You Judging Me, Facebook

I Am Oppressed By The Forces of Social Media

So...I finally joined Facebook.

(Please be my Facebook friend! Just search for me - I'
m there, I swear! Wait, did that come across a little needy?)

Anyway...I finally joined Facebook and, um, not to put too fine a point on it, but...

Facebook hates me

I know, it sounds like I'm being overly sensitive and childish, but
Facebook started it!

How, you ask? With this little calling card:

Geez, you miss a week of lip-waxing and your whole gender's called into question.

Fine. I mark "
her profile" and hit "Okay" and go on about my very important business of hearing about what people are having for lunch and whose child announced the arrival of stomach flu by spraying the inside of Mom's freshly detailed minivan with Spaghetti-Os like a human Gatling gun.

Then, next time I log in:

There it is again.

And the next time.

And the next time.

In fact, that same question pops up - and I answer it - for th
e next 3.2 million log-ins.

What I want to know is - is there some Facebook intern sitting there looking at the profile pictures and trying to figure out the ones that are, shall we say, "
on the fence?" Or does their system scan the photos and electronically register facial hair and then compare it to the gender of the name?

And, more importantly, how can I get a job mocking Faceboo
k profile pictures (because that job sounds awesome and right up my alley)?

So I keep logging in and answering the same question...until today. When I get this one:

Thank you to Lea Ann at Mommy's Wish List for including my "Smokey and the Bandit" post entitled "If the Bandit's Wrong, I Don't Want to be Right" in her blog!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Enlightenment Sounds Like A Lot Of Work

If I'd Known It Was A Meditation CD, I Wouldn't Have Played It While Driving All Night To Flagstaff

As may be apparent, I am a spiritually rudderless person. I know this about myself.

But it's cool. Why? Because I'm looking into it.

Yep, that's me out in the backyard, standing on a webbed lawn chair with my dinosaur floatie and peering into the rusty, above-ground pool that is my soul.

(And while we're on the subject, I don't need a magical third eye in my forehead to see that not everyone is showering off before jumping in there and splashing around, all right? You know who you are.)

Anyway, as you might suspect, a comprehensive discussion on the subject of spiritual enlightenment would take almost an hour to write and could easily fill three pages. And seeing as how some of the broads from my new meditation group are coming over in twenty minutes to play beer pong, that's just not going to happen.

Besides, I've only just launched my quest for enlightenment, so I'm thinking that for now I will instead share a few of my initial questions and observations as I set out on this exciting and probably expensive journey.

For those of you who also are interested in taking this walk along the lonely street of dreams (wait, that's a Whitesnake song) step onto the path toward a shinier, bouncier and more manageable consciousness, hopefully my questions will echo some of your own.

Like A Drifter I Was Born To Walk Alone
(Dammit, there's that song again)

A Few Starter Questions
  • If I manifest massive amounts of wealth, say, in my room with the door locked, do I also need to manifest tax-reporting documents to go with them?
  • If my consciousness is raised, will it pull other parts of me up with it?
  • What's with all those jackets that don't have collars?
  • So, the deal is that I raise my consciousness, then I recruit others to raise other people's consciousnesses and I get a percentage, right? No?
Hangin' On The Promises...
(Stop that!)

What I've Learned So Far (after watching almost half of a Deepak Chopra DVD)
  • We are one with everything and everyone. (And he's not kiddin' around, either - he means everyone.)
  • We are the eyes of the universe looking at itself. (Ummm...okay, I've got nothin'.)
  • There is no need to fear death. (This is right where I stopped the DVD, but I'm pretty sure the next thing he's going to say is, "Once you're dead.")
  • There is no distinction between the body and the mind. (I will now hypnotize myself into having firm thighs.)
Can you smell the enlightenment? Because I sure can.

Yes, I know, I've only just scratched the surface and I've got a long way to go, but here I go again on my own Oh, for cryin' out loud!

Going down the only road I've ever known
This is a serious topic you know!

Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
That was a cool video, though.

An' I've made up my mind
Tawny Kitaen dancing on the hood of that car, remember?

I ain't wasting no more time
I miss the 80s. All that hair.

But here I go again...

Three words: Brand. New. Blog. Brought to you by Blogtations, In Three Words has now launched. It's all about describing things in just three words. Like your childhood. (So. Long. Ago.) Or your first kiss. (Hold. The. Phone.) Intrigued? Me, too!

And thank you to The Retired One over at The Retirement Chronicles for this pretty package:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Welcome To Hell. Here's Your Hot Glue Gun.

Is It Spring Break Yet?

Ah, spring. The bulbs are blossoming. The birds are tweeting.

The school projects are festering.

Yes, this is the time of year when teachers assign parents students those full-bore, hail Mary, multi-dimensional projects that drive parents to homicide drink the crafts store [shudder]. Like the mythical Hydra, a beast who grew two new heads each time Hercules cut off one, these projects regenerate overnight, refusing to be beaten back until they have consumed your afternoons...your weekends...your very soul.

Think you're done? Ha - think again! Sure, the prese
ntation board is finished, but what about the costume? The oral report? The collage? The epic poem? The interpretive dance?

Foolish mortal! [Insert maniacal laughter.]

Are You Sure Evil Knievel Wasn't On The List?

Take Morticia, for instance. In her fourth grade class,
they're doing reports on influential Californians and students were given a three-page list of people from which to choose. (There are all kinds of names running through your mind now, right? Like Minnie Mouse and Ryan Seacrest?)

After much angst and rending of clothing, she chose this person:

(I totally agree - she does look shifty.)

That's Mary See, of See's candy fam
e. Mary See who was born in (and died in) Canada.


Okay, so we're playing fast and loose with the term "Californian." Awesome. If t
hat's the case, let's think outside the (candy) box here and take a look at the ol' map. It looks to me like Butte, Montana is closer to California than Canada is. Butte, Montana happens to be the birthplace of Evil Knievel...ergo...please tell me you get to dress up like your influential Californian because how cool would that be?!?

Top 3 Reasons Evil Knievel Is Cooler Than Mary See
  1. Flared leather pants beat white shawl every time.
  2. Mary See has completed no known canyon or school-bus jumps.
  3. There is no biopic about Mary See starring George Hamilton.
BTW, Evil's real name is Robert, so if you have a child named "Robert," do them a favor and upgrade their nickname asap. They'll thank you for it later when they're in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Meanwhile, In Third Grade...

Gomez and all the other third-grade ankle-biters are immersed in a huge headache endeavor called "The City Project."

Basically, each classroom becomes its own city, complete with businesses, a government and a highly unstable economy. No bureaucratic stone is left unturned in this deal, including the requirement to file a business plan for city council review before opening your storefront.

[Side note: the town is so realistic that the Environmental Compliance Officer recently was voted out of his position for abusing his power and giving out too many citations. Okay, full disclosure: it was Gomez. That's my boy!]

And, yes, every child has a store that sells actual
things. Things the parents children must think up. And things the parents children must manufacture. And then they sell them to other students. Did I mention it all must come in within budget?

For example, each store must have on-hand roughly a zillion little identical products and the total cost of producing these little products must not ex
ceed, oh, say...eight bucks. Piece of cake!

e's what Gomez is selling in his little store:

Behold the "Marble Buddy." We know he's got foam feet and pipe-cleaner antennae. Beyond that, he's an enigma.

Now, aside from building the storefront for this enterprise, we're also cranking out the inventory and, let me tell you, Kathie Lee Gifford's got nothing on me in the sweatshop department. It's never too early to learn the exquisite joy of repetitive assembly, yes?

It's like we always say around the kitchen table:

"Break's over, slackers! These orders aren't going to fill themselves!"

My buddy Florinda - who runs one of the best book blogs around - is collecting votes for her BlogHer Room of Your Own proposal entitled "So Many Books, So Little Time." If you'd be interested in attending or co-presenting with her, please check out the details and vote here. (There's no attendance commitment when you vote, BTW, they're just getting a feel for which proposals will generate the most interest on the agenda.) Thank you!

And I have to give
a big shout-out to blog Jedi Self-Deprechaun, whose current post cracked me up (as every one of his posts does) and features a plush-toy version of tuberculosis - the OG (Original Gangsta) of infectious diseases - which is stalking him in his workplace. (Trust me, it sounds really funny when he says it.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

There's Elvis - Next To That Wiggly Thing!

First and foremost...

for all the lovely, kind and encouraging comments and emails about my mom's recent hospitalization. I can't tell you how much it means to have such support and sweetness pouring in. I've read them to her and she sends her smiles and thanks, too. I'm happy to report that she's doing much better (whew!) and will likely be released from the hospital in the next few days. We are so happy and relieved...thanks again, friends.

It's interesting what you learn about yourself when you're thrown into a scary or foreign situation. I've been at the hospital every day now and this has been one of those learning experiences for me.

Now that Mom is out of the woods, I've had a mome
nt to reflect on these past days and I'd like to share with you some personal lessons and observations that I've gleaned from the experience.

Ultrasound Etiquette

When someone is having an ultrasound of their abdomen and you're watching the results on
the monitor, they don't want to hear how you saw something that looked just like the Virgin Mary. Or a stack of pancakes. Or the Eiffel Tower. Or Spongebob Squarepants. (I know! I would totally want to know, too! But not everyone does. Trust me.)

Also, it's considered bad form to point at the monitor and blurt out anything along the lines of, "What the hell is that?"

They should have a sign up in the ultrasound room so people know these things. It's not like the whole place isn't covered with signs anyway.

Fun with CAT Scanners

First of all, these things don't look like cats at all. Very misleading. They look like giant bagels. I think if I worked in a dark room with a giant bagel all day, I'd have more of a sense of humor about it. I'm just sayin'.

Also, this CAT scanner had an automated voice that gave instructions to the patient. Very James Earl Jones/Darth Vader-y. "Luke [pant, pant] it would be inadvisable for you to breathe at this time [pant, pant]. On my command, you many now breathe [pant]."

Believe me, no matter how spot-on your delivery
is, or how many times you imitate that voice later back in the room, the world simply is not ready for CAT scan humor.

Now I know.

Hospital Cafeteria = Fraught With Peril

I already knew that I am not at my best in a buff
et situation. I mean, I like a certain amount of choice in my life, but enough is enough already with all the stations and variety.

I'm the kind of person who eats eight times more at Souplantation than I normally would just because it's there for the taking. ("A pasta bar?! Get outta town! You're not out of alfredo sauce are you? Woo-Hoo!")

The key here is that I know the drill at Souplantation.

You throw me into a strange cafeteria in a state of high anxiety and I flounder. And flounder I did. I'm not too proud to say that I suffer from Cafeteria Performance Panic Disorder (CPPD) and it came roaring to the surface the one and only time I tried to eat at the hospital.

Where are the trays? Where's the end of the line
? Did I remember to bring money down here? I look clueless, don't I? Everyone else knows what they're doing and I'm an idiot. Can I take a plate back to the room? What's the deal with this lettuce? Wait, are they closing? Crap! I'd better grab whatever I can!

Five minutes later I'm back on the elevator and two surgeons keep peering curiously at the tray of food I'm holding.
Oh, no, I think, they're gonna call a code purple or whatever and bust me for walking out with one of the cafeteria trays.

Then I look down at my tray and realize that I've selected for my lunch exactly two green olives on top of which I've ladled a gallon of Thousand Island dressing, a hot dog with no bun that is listing port to starboard on the tray as I make room for more elevator passengers, four pats of butter, 18 straws and a fistful of Splenda.


Good vibes needed. You may already have heard that our bloggy friend
Braja, her husband and their driver were seriously injured in a horrific car accident last week in India. You can find updates on their condition here. In the meantime, please remember them in your prayers and send healing thoughts their way.

Thank you to Sherri at The Claw (love this blog) for this zesty little number:

And thank you to Gladys over at Gladys Tells All for tagging me up on the 25 Authors Who Influenced My Life meme.

More thanks to VaBookworm at Confessions of a Bookworm for laying this on me:

Big hugs to Janna Bee at Janana Bee for including my urban sport kilt post in her Friday Favorites!

And...thank you to The Retired One at The Retirement Chronicles for this!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the Crapteenth

It Says So Right Here On The Calendar.

My dear mom (and fellow white-glove inspector) was taken to the hospital unexpectedly Wednesday morning and I've barely touched a computer since then, which is why I wasn't able to make my usual post yesterday. I missed "seeing" you all!

In the meantime, however, my great buddy Ann over at
Ann's Rants was kind enough to include an early post of mine in her "Great Posts You Probably Missed (Except You, Mom)" party. There's all kinds of good stuff over at Ann's place - as always. (Ann rocks.)

Things will be back on track here shortly...thanks for understanding and hope all is glazed doughnuts in your world.

Monday, March 9, 2009

While You Were Out

Technically, The House Is Still There

When VodkaMom of
I Need a Martini Mom asked if I could keep an eye on her place while she was in rehab out of town, I naturally replied "Who the hell is this again?" "Why, sure! It'd be my pleasure!"

'Cause if there's one thing you can count on with me - no matter what - it's my sincere desire to root through people's stuff help people. Yeah, buddy.

So, um, it went...
okay. I mean, some house sitting gigs are more complicated than others but I think overall it went, ahhh...well, look, they're back now so it's really not my concern anymore, is it?

Anyway, all the details are
in the note I left for her on her kitchen counter.

In the meantime, if you talk with her and s
he says anything about me, just remember to factor this in:

That woman drinks.


A big thank you
to Meg at Prefers Her Fantasy Life for this wonderful honor:

I'm thrilled to receive this! Want to see the complete list of this month's ROFL recipients? You can find it at Oh, The Joys (each and every month). When you visit these two blogs, I bet you'll get hooked on them like I did. Thanks, ladies.

Want more laughs?
Visit Jessica Bern over at Bernthis.com. She just posted links to her webisodes on her sidebar and, if you've ever wondered what goes in someone else's therapy sessions...you're about to find out. [tee hee]

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Can't Believe You're Returning The Kilt I Gave You.

It Was That Or A George Foreman Grill

Jon Bon Jovi's birthday is getting tougher every year. See, we've been together a long time now and, frankly, I've run out of gift ideas.

He's not the kind of guy who accumulates "stuff." He's not a "shopper."

I find this "annoying."

So when I was driving the other day and saw a man standing on the corner wearing a kilt, I was overjoyed. (Yeah, that came out weird for me, too.) Ahem. I mean, it gave me an idea for a gift for Jon Bon Jovi. Because you know what? I'm flippin' positive he doesn't own a kilt.

And why not, I ask?

As I idled at the red light and observed the fellow on the corner (who, BTW, was not some wizened extra from "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" but rather an athletic-looking fellow in his late 20s/early 30s who probably designs games for Electronic Arts or produces indie films), it struck me that the urban sport kilt's time has come, for several reasons:
  • With the onset of global warming, the kilt provides critical ventilation to combat mustiness.
  • The kilt removes the need to agonize over whether to wear boxers or briefs, thus streamlining one's morning routine.
  • The kilt finally makes accessible to men one of life's pure and simple pleasures: twirling.
All of which fell on deaf ears when Jon Bon Jovi tore off the Smurfs wrapping paper and uncovered his bitchin' new kilt.

"You got me a skirt?"

"It's not a skirt. It's a kilt. It's manly."

"It's pleated."

"You say that like it's a bad thing."

"I thought kilts were plaid."

"This is an urban sport kilt. The next generation. It also comes in camouflage."

"Please tell me there's a gift receipt."

"I tucked it in one of the knee socks." [sigh] "At least hold it up so I can see what it would look like."

[Jon Bon Jovi grudgingly complies.]

"See? That looks awesome!"

"I look like a stewardess."

"Don't your people come from Scotland?"

"My people come from Nebraska. Where men wear pants."

"I can't believe I married an anti-kiltite."

"I've got nothing against kilts in context. You know, next to a castle. Or on a moor. Is it 'moor' or 'bog?'"

"But kilts are cool! Axl Rose. Sting. Very sexy. And how about ferocious, huh? The Scots are some of the fiercest warriors around. Remember Mel Gibson with his blue face in 'Braveheart?' He was one bloodthirsty plaid-pleated dude." [shudder]

"I'm not wearing a kilt to Peet's. Or Costco. Or back-to-school night. Or the office. I am not going to get my tires changed in what looks like something that was loaned to me by Marlo Thomas!"

"Sshh! What are you, nuts?" [Looks over shoulder.] This is L.A., man...Mel Gibson could be anywhere..."

Note: No Scotsmen were harmed in the writing of this post and I really do love kilts.

You have to see this over at The Hussy Housewife's place! She's gone and made an awesome music video using the mugs of all the humor bloggers over at HumorBloggers.com. Righteous video and super-funny blog!

Who's More Awesome?
Walter's blog is killing me with the comparisons. Sanitation Man vs. Fireman? Batman vs. Wolverine? Stop it. Oh, and the categories of competition are always the same: archery, racing, chess, fighting, wine tasting, pie eating and swimsuit. The post I just read pits, um, female privates against male privates. I kid you not. Man, I love the blogosphere!

And thank you
to Mary at Adventures of Mommy Maestro for this lovely award!